Campus Corner

Mizzou basketball super fans, The Antlers, offer advice for prodigal fans

From July: C.J. Roberts on playing for Cuonzo Martin

University of Missouri freshman guard C.J. Roberts committed to the Tigers before the coaching change and additions of Michael Porter Jr. among others.
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University of Missouri freshman guard C.J. Roberts committed to the Tigers before the coaching change and additions of Michael Porter Jr. among others.

After several years of dwindling attendance, Missouri men’s basketball is expected to be a hot ticket in 2017-18.

And why wouldn’t it be?

New Tigers coach Cuonzo Martin has assembled the best recruiting class in program history — we can drop the arguably now, right? — and it’s revived dormant fan interest.

Still, some youngsters might need a refresher on Mizzou Arena etiquette after years of a near-empty student section (aside from Kentucky games or Rally for Rhyan events).

The irreverent (and occasionally line-crossing) unofficial student group, The Antlers, is here to help with a preseason primer for prodigal students supporters:

The Antlers were kind enough to help returning students find the cheering section, recall the chants, and prepare for musical selections and audience participation events.

That includes protocol for the national anthem — “The flag is located behind you” — all of which should come in handy Nov. 10 when Mizzou opens the season against former Big 12 rival Iowa State as the Martin (and Porter) Era gets underway.

Tigers fans will get to see the nation’s top incoming freshman, Michael Porter Jr., a smooth-shooting 6-foot-10 forward who is a near-unanimous choice as the top pick in next year’s NBA Draft.

His brother, Jontay Porter, reclassified Aug. 9, 2017, and joined Martin’s monster at Mizzou Arena for next season.

The Tigers’ returning core — senior Jordan Barnett and juniors Kevin Puryear and Terrence Phillips — provide strong experience and leadership along with Canisius transfer Kassius Robertson, a graduate-student transfer and much-needed three-point marksmen.

Other freshmen joining the Porter brothers include hulking center Jeremiah Tilmon from East St. Louis (Ill.), another former Washington commit in Blake Harris (same as the Porters), and sharpshooter C.J. Roberts from Texas.

It should be fun, but plan a little extra time to park and get into Mizzou Arena compared to the last few years.

Tod Palmer: 816-234-4389, @todpalmer

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